Ira Glasser, 2020 interview

Ira Glasser

“[A]fter [a] panel discussion [at a prestigious law school], person after person got up, including some of the younger professors, to assert that their goals of social justice for blacks, for women, for minorities of all kinds were incompatible with free speech and that free speech was an antagonist. . . . [W]hen I came to the ACLU, my major passion was social justice, particularly racial justice. But my experience was that free speech wasn't an antagonist. It was an ally. It was a critical ally. I said this to the audience, and I was astonished to learn that most of them were astonished to hear it—I mean, these were very educated, bright young people, and they didn't seem to know this history—I told them that there is no social justice movement in America that has ever not needed the First Amendment to initiate its movement for justice, to sustain its movement for justice, to help its movement survive. For people who today claim to be passionate about social justice to establish free speech as an enemy is suicidal.” (Photo Courtesy of "Mighty Ira")

Ira Glasser, 2020 interview